Past UROP funding recipient discovers ‘āina-based kuleana at UH

December 17th, 2021

Kahealani Acosta, a past UROP funding recipient, is featured in UH Mānoa’s “Finding Our Kuleana” campaign. In this campaign, Acosta shares her personal narrative of purpose and sense of responsibility as a Native Hawaiian student. Acosta’s UROP project examined the effects of nutrient deficiencies in the Hawaiian breadfruit (‘ulu), wherein she deprived the breadfruit of a single nutrient at a time and analyzed the resulting growth. She continues her study of ‘ulu as a food source as she pursues a graduate degree in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

Inaugural Nancy Atmospera-Walch Professor in School Health named

December 6th, 2021

The Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing has named Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member and Associate Professor Deborah Mattheus as the inaugural Nancy Atmospera-Walch Professor in School Health. As an inspirational leader committed to the efforts of the Hawai‘i Keiki: Health & Ready to Learn Program (HK), Mattheus is continuously engaging in research projects that address the vulnerability of children, with a focus on oral health and increased access to health services.

Freezing seawater to create freshwater among undergrad showcase projects

December 14, 2021

A featured project at the Fall 2021 Undergraduate Showcase was presented by senior undergraduate UROP recipients Justin Yip and Deylen Nekoba, both mechanical engineering majors. This project evaluates the importance and revitalization of freeze desalination as the new process to freeze and rinse seawater to yield freshwater. This emerging method will reduce the large amounts of energy used in conventional ways such as boiling water for safe drinking. Through this project, Yip and Nekoba hope that others can consider the importance of water conservation and the constant need for fresh drinking water.

Honors undergrad wins UROP scholarship to contribute to melanoma cancer research

December 10, 2021

Senior undergraduate UROP recipient Lauryn Liao, a molecular biosciences and biotechnology major, earns the Douglas S. Yamamura Scholarship for her vital research on melanoma at the UH Cancer Center. Liao’s project aims to identify how a protein (phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes) contributes to melanoma cancer cell survival and proliferation. This scholarship is awarded to outstanding undergraduate students enrolled in any field of study who are involved in research and creative work initiatives.

Former UROP Project Funding Recipient Debuts at the 41st Hawaii International Film Festival

November 11, 2021

Malia Adams makes her filmmaker debut at the 41st Hawaii International Film Festive (HIFF) with the production of “I Will Be Your Breath”, a creative short film inspired by Adams’ own family. The personal film is about a young Hawaiian woman named Kamahina and her journey as she learned about her great-grandmother’s experience as a Hawaiian woman in the early 1900s. Through this film, Adams hopes to encourage the audience to be open with their past and to connect with their roots. Adams and her group member Mahina Smith produced the creative short film with UROP Project funding under the guidance of their faculty mentor, Lisette Flanary.

From LEGOs to lasers, UH student’s passion for science continues

October 12, 2021

Undergraduate student John Fast received UROP funding for a research project that analyzed oxygen and hydrogen isotopes from five rainwater collection stations across the island of O’ahu. The purpose of the project was to create an annual database of isotopic rainfall composition that can be used to predict rainfall events and impact on the availability of drinking water. 

Music of Lili’uokalani, urban ag, among featured undergraduate projects

August 4, 2021

At the 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Symposium hosted by UROP, over 300 students, staff, faculty, and community members attended research and creative work presentations by 85 undergraduate students. Highlights include a first-ever documentary film on the music of Queen Lili‘uokalani and urban agriculture in Honolulu.

Balloon project to detect dark matter receives multi-million dollar boost

July 26, 2021

Undergraduate student Hershel Weiner, with funding from UROP, participated in calibrating sensor detectors on a balloon designed to fly approximately 24 miles above Antarctica in an effort to search for very rare cosmic antimatter.

Shelby Cerwonka and Jasmine Reighard maintaining a moss roof.

Could moss, recycled fishing net roofs keep homes cool?

June 30, 2021

Shelby Cerwonka and Jasmine Reighard, who graduated in spring 2021 from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, are the creators of an environmentally-friendly and sustainable roof design that combines natural moss with recycled fishing nets. The Leucobryum glaucum (pincushion moss) helps to decrease a house’s internal temperatures. Their project was created with the goal of tackling climate change at a household level.

Engineering students release driverless delivery vehicle prototype

June 13, 2021

With funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), members of UH Parcel Service (UHPS) created a wireless prototype delivery vehicle capable of traveling up to four miles per hour, carrying a load of up to 300 pounds, traversing up inclines of 15 degrees (more than most wheelchair ramps) and delivering and receiving packages.

Brooke Fisher

Root causes of houseless crisis revealed in UH Mānoa student’s documentary

May 28, 2021

Brooke Fisher, an undergraduate student in the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program, produced a film investigating the deeply-rooted issue of homelessness in Hawai’i. Her 9-minute documentary, Bridging the Gap, was funded by a UROP award. Combined with classroom knowledge, this hands-on experience helped her address topics like the cause and effects of a challenging upbringing.

Undergraduate research, work, internship opportunities through the Student Opportunity Center (SOC) database

March 4, 2021

The Student Opportunity Center (SOC) database is a one-stop-shop for students who are interested in getting involved in research and creative work opportunities under faculty mentors. Undergraduate students Jessica Lau and Vanessa Liang saw an opportunity to work under Assistant Professor David Royer and together, they learned the skills to help educators work with students who have challenging behaviors through Project KUALIMA.

Funding applications for undergraduates, faculty mentored projects

February 23, 2021

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) supports undergraduate students pursuing faculty-mentored research and creative work. Undergraduate students Bryce Dolph and Iroha Mochida demonstrated diverse academic goals as they dive into topics such as understanding homelessness in Hawai’i and exploring the effects of online media in Shimauta folk music.

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Fall 2020 Undergraduate Showcase
December 14, 2020

The Fall 2020 Undergraduate Showcase was hosted virtually by the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). This semester’s featured undergraduate projects include drone technologies, directing a film from a cultural perspective, and the creation of a custom solar water heater.

SOEST undergraduate leads study on food webs in ocean’s deepest trenches
September 28, 2020

Andrew Tokuda, a senior in SOEST’s Global Environmental Sciences program, along with his co-authors, has recently published a scientific study regarding the food webs in the Mariana and Kermadec ocean trenches. With partial support from UH Mānoa’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, they were able to collect organisms in each trench and assess the nutrients flow in the food web.

photo of zoom meeting

Virtual symposium draws record number of participants
August 7, 2020

Nearly 100 University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate students who conducted faculty-mentored research and creative work in various disciplines showcased their projects at the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Symposium.

UH Wind Ensemble

Students, faculty mentors adapt undergraduate research and creative work
May 26, 2020

Amid COVID-19, students who received funding from UROP continued to develop plans and changes to allow them to carry forward with their research while still following state and university policies regarding COVID-19.

Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research & Creative Work
May 15, 2020

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research and Creative Work was created in 2020 by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Congratulations to our inaugural awardees Brittany Biggs, assistant professor in the Academy for Creative Media, and Pratibha Nerurkar, associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering.

Nataliya Panova presents her project at the spring 2019 Undergraduate Showcase.

Research opportunities for students continue during COVID-19
April 21, 2020

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program offers financial and programmatic support to all undergraduate students in all disciplines to engage in faculty-mentored research and creative work.

Nicholas YamaKevin Kam

UH Manoa student, alum earn $135K NSF research fellowships
April 6, 2020

A current and a recent graduate of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering, both previously funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, have each been awarded a $135,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. They are two out of only 59 electrical engineering students selected nationwide.UHM

Kahealani Acosta assesses physical and physiological effects of nutrient deficiencies in Hawaiian breadfruit.Leo Louis studies fungal species diversity, documenting edible species sold in markets in Bhutan.

One-stop shop for UH Manoa undergraduate research opportunities
September 16, 2019

A new UROP resource is the Student Opportunity Center (SOC), a searchable database with thousands of online opportunity listings: research and creative work positions, internships, co-ops, conferences and more. Access is open to all undergraduate students, faculty and staff.UHM


SURE students volunteer at Lyon Arboretum.

UH Manoa summer research experience connects students with ‘aina
July 28, 2019

Undergraduate students receive valuable hands-on experience in community engagement at the Lyon Arboretum as part of UROP’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE).

UH Mānoa engineering students Adam James Macalalag, Eric Takahashi, Efren Enriquez and Matthew Nakamura

UH Manoa Students in New Mexico prep for rocket launch competition
June 18, 2019

Team Hōkūlele’s 11.5-foot rocket named Kahekili is scheduled to launch and deploy two experimental payloads they built for the Spaceport American Cup. The project has received $10,000 in funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program which allowed the team to cover the cost of the rocket and some travel expenses.

plant in a pot

UH students successfully test Box Farm
June 3, 2019

Four UHM senior mechanical engineering students funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program have designed, developed, and tested a Box Farm that is an automated hydroponic growing system designed to sustain life on the moon and Mars.

Soldiering on in the pursuit of excellence
November 5, 2018

Andrew Kecskes Tokuda is a junior majoring in Global Environmental Science and is aspiring to become an officer in the U.S. Army and a scientist specializing in fisheries studies. With a great passion to study the food availability in the hadopelagic zone and fisheries studies, Tokuda’s career goal is to serve in a federal science agency.

Janey GuoSasha Canovali

Microbiology undergraduates supported with UROP awards
June 15, 2017

Students working in the Prisic lab have received support from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to study organisms that may lead to more effective treatments for tuberculosis.

students holding up awards

Mānoa Undergraduate Showcase highlights research and creative work
May 16, 2017

The Undergraduate Showcase of Research and Creative Work held on May 5th, 2017 was supported by the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. The showcase represented more than 75 presentations and posters by 100 undergraduate students.

Alex Lee

Genome sequence of a new bacteria species published by UHM undergraduates
December 13, 2016

Alex Lee discover and characterize the second species in the genus Piscirickettsia. To complete the genome sequence of the new species, Lee was awarded $5,000 from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

manoa horizons cover

Undergraduate journal Mānoa Horizons publishes first issue
November 1, 2016

A new peer-reviewed academic journal will feature high quality creativity, innovation, and research conducted and synthesized by undergraduate students at UHM. Mānoa Horizons represents a partnership among the UHM’s Honors Program, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the honors faculty.

Trista McKenzie in the lab. Credit: Warren McKenzie

Geology graduates investigate Fukushima-derived radioactivity in Hawaiʻi
June 3, 2016

UHM’s Hannah Azouz and Trista McKenzie advance knowledge on radioactivity in soil and locally-caught fish. Both students were able to conduct their research by funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) at UHM.

Undergraduate Makana Silva Presenting at SACNAS Conference with Funding Provided by UROP

October 4, 2016

Makana Silva, an undergraduate student working with UHM Assistant Professor Sarah Post, will be traveling to the annual Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference. There, he will present the results from the research collaboration with funding granted from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at UHM.

Alexandra McDougle crosses a landslide while traveling through the Ifugao Rice Terraces.

UHM graduate Alexandra McDougle selected as Luce Scholar
February 18, 2016

Alexandra McDougle is the first Luce Scholar to be nominated by UHM and is the first selectee in the program’s history with a physical anthropology background. McDougle’s was also supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) in relation to her fieldwork on the study of skulls of juvenile skeletons in the Ifugao region.

students working outside

Student involvement in UHM research, from the ground up
July 19, 2015

Students interested in research for the glory of their own research project can seek the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for funding assistance. Students who have found a faculty mentor and established a project proposal can apply for the UROP program for further assistance regarding research funds, conference attendance, publication and more.

Undergraduate researcher Stephen Matadobra

Uncovering a hidden shark heiau in Pelekane Bay
July 11, 2014

Matadobra’s research focused on finding out what he anomalies lied around the area of the submerged site by using a sub-bottom profiler device. Through the support from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Matadobra was able to create a layout that shows the approximate location of the anomalies and where the ancient site of the Hawaiian shark heiau was located.

Matthew Lim began his research as part of UHM’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

Culture and family influence on smoking in Filipina girls
July 11, 2014

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program allowed Matthew to begin creating a sensitive survey tool that could be given to the local youth regarding smoking rates amongst Filipina girls.

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